May 14, 2009
College Station, Texas - The seventh-seeded UCLA men's tennis team booked a spot in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 32nd time in 33 years on Thursday, recording a 4-1 victory over unseeded Miami in a round of 16 showdown at Texas A&M's George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Next up for the Bruins (20-4) is a meeting with second-seeded Mississippi (27-2) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. (CST). *Note: The match has been moved up one hour from original 5:00 p.m. start time. The Rebels defeated host Texas A&M, 4-1 on Thursday evening.
"I thought we played a good match," said UCLA head coach Billy Martin. "I'm always a little nervous seeing how we react to new conditions. I thought we came out and played very good doubles in the beginning and continued on it in the singles, although Miami gave us a great battle there. We hope if we continue to win, we'll continue to get a little bit better and a little bit more comfortable with the surroundings. Certainly I believe the opponents get better with each round."
UCLA captured the doubles point for the ninth time in a row on Thursday, moving out to a 1-0 lead following wins at court Nos. 2 and 3. After Haythem Abid and Holden Seguso notched an 8-3 win at court No. 3, the Bruins clinched it when Amit Inbar and Harel Srugo downed Miami's Christian Blocker/David Simon, 8-4 at the No. 2 spot. With Thursday's win, Inbar and Srugo improve to 14-0 on the season.
The Bruins continued to dominate in singles, quickly taking a 2-0 lead when Abid lost just two games en route to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over David Rosenfeld at court No. 2. It marked Abid's first NCAA Tournament win in two years, as he missed all of last year with a wrist injury.
Next to finish was court No. 5, where Miami's Christian Blocker downed senior Michael Look, 6-2, 6-4 to cut the lead to 2-1. The Bruins would answer right back, however, moving out to a 3-1 lead when Srugo dispatched of Carl Sundberg, 6-2, 6-3 at court No. 3.
Although Srugo's victory brought the Bruins within a point of clinching, all three remaining matches were close. Nick Meister was just going to a third set at court No. 6, and Seguso was on the verge of going to a third set at court No. 4. The only player with a slight lead was Matt Brooklyn at court No. 1, as he was leading 13th-ranked Daniel Vallverdu, 6-3, 5-2. Seguso, who fought off a set point in the second set tiebreaker, clinched the Bruin victory with a 6-1, 7-6(7) defeat of Miami sophomore Keith Crowley.
"Obviously, UCLA is a very good team," said Miami head coach Mario Rincon. "I think one through six in singles they are extremely even. In order to beat a team like that you have to play six great matches. They took it to us in doubles. I'd say our team was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the match. UCLA is a more experienced team. They have been in these situations and that played a part in it. Overall I feel that we didn't play a bad match. UCLA was just better than us."
Notes: UCLA improves to 11-0 all-time against Miami ... At 20-4 overall, UCLA has now posted its 11th straight 20-win season ... The Bruins extend their winning streak to 13 (last loss was Feb. 28 against Stanford, 4-3) ... Since the team format was adopted in 1977, UCLA has reached at least the quarterfinals in 32 of 33 years (exception 1988) ... With their win Thursday, UCLA's No. 2 doubles team of Amit Inbar and Harel Srugo improve to 14-0 on the year ... UCLA is 3-1 all time against Mississippi.
1. (38) Rosenfeld/Vallverdu (UM) led (52) Look/Meister (UCLA), 5-4 Susp.
2. (80) Amit Inbar/Srugo (UCLA) def. Blocker/David Simon (UM), 8-4
3. Abid/Seguso (UCLA) def. Crowley/Sundberg (UM), 8-3
UCLA Wins Doubles Point - Order of Finish: 3, 2
1. (64) Matt Brooklyn (UCLA) led (13) Daniel Vallverdu (UM), 6-3, 5-2 Susp.
2. (49) Haythem Abid (UCLA) def. David Rosenfeld (UM), 6-2, 6-0
3. Harel Srugo (UCLA) def. Carl Sundberg (UM), 6-2, 6-3
4. Holden Seguso (UCLA) def. Keith Crowley (UM), 6-1, 7-6(7)*
5. Christian Blocker (UM) def. (100) Michael Look (UCLA), 6-2, 6-4
6. (107) Nick Meister (UCLA) led Ignacio Taboada (UM), 7-5, 1-6, 1-0 Susp.
* Denotes Clinching Match - Order of Finish: 2, 5, 3, 4